Lohri, the harvest festival of Punjab is celebrated with much pomp and fervour. Observed a day ahead of Makar Sankranti, it marks the end of the sowing season and the beginning of the farming season. Both Hindu and Sikh communities indulge in various celebrations on this day. Lohri is celebrated on January 13.
There is a change in date for Makar Sankranti, its date has been shifted from January 14 to January 15 in 2019. The change in the calendar is because of the shift in the planetary configuration of the Sun, based on which fasts and festivals in the Hindu Calendar are decided. These Hindu festivals follow the solar cycles, while other observations are based on the lunar cycles. Makar Sankranti 2019 Date Changes After 100 Years! The Harvest Festival Will be Celebrated on January 15 This Time, Know Why.
Lohri marks the end of winter and starts of summer as the Sun begins its journey towards the North Hemisphere. While Punjab celebrates it as Lohri, the festival is known by various names in different states. The day observes the onset of the harvest season in most cultures. The festival is known as Bihu in Assam, as Sakraat in Bihar and Jharkhand, Poush Sankranti in West Bengal and Pongal in Tamil Nadu. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, observance is called Uttarayan.
On Lohri, farmers pray to the Sun God and seek blessings for a good harvest. People light bonfire called Puja Parikrama and go around the bonfire singing songs seeking blessings. Punjabi women go around the fire singing 'Sunder mundriye ho!' as a part of the traditions.
According to customs, the bonfire is kept alive all night using dry cow dung cakes. Gur rewri, peanuts with popcorns, gajjak, sarson da saag and makki di roti are common preparations on this day. Jaggery finds its ways into most dishes as sugarcane is harvested between January to March. People offer the delicacies to the fire and distribute it among others as prasad. We at LatestLY wish everyone celebrating 'Happy Lohri'.